Do NOT give up.

Do not give up

One evening this week my whole family had crashed asleep by 8:30. I sat up writing in the dark. I am a quiet girl, but it is funny what happens when we are left to ourselves. The doubt began as a little trickle and by 10:30 I was typing and crying at the same time. It’s the same mix tape that runs through my heart.

Everything I offer is not enough. I am not fully and completely good at anything. I am letting everyone around me down. I keep having dreams about owning multiple houses with countless rooms, so many I can’t keep them all straight. I keep forgetting that I am enough. We are all enough. It is not what we accomplish.

For three years, my one word has been kneel. I keep forgetting to do that. Then it comes quietly, don’t give up. Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. Kneel.

Those things I can do. Again and Again. I know that the tape will play again, it never really ever fully goes away, but it also doesn’t matter.

I won’t give up. I will keep clinging to what I can do, even if imperfectly.

 

Again and Again.

 

a wide world

little fellowOver break I watched The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Although much of JRR Tolkien’s works have spiritual undertones, I was particularly struck by the imagery of this movie. Smaug the great dragon has been killed. The people of Laketown gather in need of shelter, food, and clothing. Thorin Oakenshield, once a great leader, inhabits Lonely Mountain unwilling to share even one piece of gold.

Dwalin:  “You sit here, in these vast halls, with a crown upon your head and yet you are lesser now than you have ever been.”

“You cannot see what you have become.” 

Kili: “I will not hide, when others fight our battles for us.”

Of course, he comes around to be the great leader we all knew he was, abandoning wealth and power. Redemption. 

 

And as Gandolf leaves Bilbo with the powerful ring… “You really are just a little fellow, in a wide world.” Perspective.

 

I don’t know if I was all to ready for this new year. Even so, I know who I want to be.

 

I want to be brave and not hide. 

I want to love in close proximity… to do that, I know I must be quieter, stiller, gentler. 

I want to kneel because I know I am just a little fellow in a wide world. I know I need God. 

In this new year, what do you hope for? 

 

 

 

 

 

A Prayer for the New Year

decThe Time People of the Year are those fighting ebola. I love title of the article.

Do Good, Be Brave.

 

Those little white lights of the season always draw me into a quiet spirit. I am ready for a little stillness. About Proximity will be back in the new year. I love your voices. Growing to know you all more deeply makes my days and encourages me so very much.

 

I pray for our new year…

that we would be brave

that we would kneel often

that we would love in close proximity.

 

listen

listen

Listening at the Margins.

I love this article from Do Justice.

Our best service comes when we listen.

A number of CRC agencies have come together to listen to stories from people who are marginalized in various ways, whether because they are disabled, Native American, refugees, undocumented immigrants, survivors of domestic violence, etc.

Sign up here, to receive an email story each day in November that positions us to listen.

Once a week over at Amelia Rhodes online home, you can follow her Pray A-Z Community Prayer Guide series. She’s getting practical by offering stories and prayer for needs in our communities.

I’m excited to be in proximity and to kneel.

How do you truly listen? 

Kneeling with the Everybody’s

KneelingSomehow I fell upon quotes by Sylvia Plath on Goodreads. She was a brilliant writer. I am sad that she stuck her head in an oven and died of gas inhalation. I wish I could have sat down with her and told her she would be all right, and that her writing would inspire people to share their hearts for years to come.

Also that Jesus loved the way she breathed.

 

Her words were so honest, some burn right to my heart.

She said this in her journal, “I suppose if I gave myself the chance I could be an alcoholic.”

I have never drank a drop of alcohol my entire life. People come to the wrong conclusions about that. I don’t because I long ago knew, if I gave myself the chance I could be an alcoholic. It’s like the entire tray of Oreos, and carton of ice cream I sometimes use to dull my worries.

 

My Mom was telling me about someone with a storied past that my Dad had stopped to talk to on the sidewalk yesterday. “That’s what I love about him,” she said, “He treats everyone the same.”

That is what proximity is.

Kneeling with the everybody’s, and not because we have something to bring.

Kneeling because we are “them” too, and also because they sometimes have something to bring us. Like, dead Sylvia Plath and her sentence that I’ve always been afraid to say aloud.

 

Yesterday, the cousins were over. We have had few warm days here, and they played for hours in the backyard with buckets, water, grass, dandelions, and twigs in superhero costumes. Eli explained they were making “merryweed potion.” When they were hurt they went into the “healing chamber” and applied the potion and were well again.

 

My merryweed potion is that in proximity I can see my true self and Jesus still loves the way I breath.

What makes you well again? Why are honest words so hard?

 

One Word: Kneel

kneelNew Year = New Resolutions

Last year, I participated in One Word Three Sixty Five. I love the website because you can read other people’s chosen word and be inspired. One Word is a way to focus on one word for a year, bypassing or adding to resolutions. You can further join the One Word 365 community on their facebook page. 

Often, I write a list of goals and lose it, then write another, don’t do anything on it, write another, and before you know it another year has passed. Choosing one word allows me to focus on that one word and come back to it often as the year passes by.

 

I thought, searched, and prayed about my One Word for 2014. Again and again KNEEL came to my heart. I used this word last year. I think it might be law breaking to use the same word again.

God won’t let it go.

I think its just About Proximity. Maybe, I have further to go. I know I have further to go. I know this word is what I want to be. I want to kneel to God and to others. I don’t want to be first, or big, or high. I just want to be used.

Kneel. I’m not going to fight it. It’s our rally call to make a difference.

I would love to hear if you choose One Word for 2014 and what that word is! 

 

Reading others choices also got me thinking about how much I learn from others. I want to keep learning from all of you. I love your voices, you all have so much to give through just who you are. I will be starting a new series this year featuring YOU!

i love your voice seriesAn apothecary full of drawers, endless in its depths.

Each drawer a window to know and be know.

Who you are is important, so very important. We need each other to grow.

 

I will be scattering this series throughout About Proximity in addition to my M-W-F posts. I can’t wait to watch the list grow and grow. What will I need from you?

  • A photograph of you
  • One additional photograph that might go with your answers
  • Answer the questions I provide for you. {Some will be the same, with some tailored for you specifically}.

Who would like to be first? (I very, very much promise that you won’t regret it. You have a story that no one else has and we long to hear it!)

aboutproximity@gmail.com /or come by the facebook page/ or snag me in the real world.

P.S. {I’ll be asking too}

this is winter coming

IMG_2779

Indian summer fades away and leaves cold.

The dark of night moves further into the early evening.

 

This is winter coming.

 

Let us bring light and love to those who are feeling the layers of desperation extended winter seasons bring.

 

Sometimes a life just needs someone to kneel with them.

To respect them enough to hear their story.

To be assured they too are God’s child.

 

Winter can be hope if you offer it to another.

IMG_2710

This is Why We Love

this is why

The things my heart love, have a way of humbling me.

I don’t know why that is the case, maybe it is the way God designed me to breath.

 

I pick things that are humbling. I don’t mean to do this, it just happens. When I think I can’t be humbled any more, the next facet of my journey arrives and I’m down on my knees again.

Kneel. I had no idea how appropriate my one word for this year would be.

I can get really discouraged and worried. This humbling has a way of softening my heart back up again. It quiets my raging fears, and brings me back to what is important. It must be a way that God speaks to me.

 

And then this passage from The Message in the twelfth chapter of Corinthians:

The body {of Christ} is not made up of one part but many… 

PicMonkey Collage

If anything you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher.

PicMonkey Collage (1)This is why we place ourselves in the proximity of renewal…

To see ourselves as significant, but also a part of the bigger picture,

A bigger picture, where we are linked to every other part.

 

This is why we kneel.

This is why we love everyone, the people that society wants us to see and those it does not.

 

What do you think? You know I LOVE your comments 🙂 

About Proximity

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{The Korean War Monument in Washington D.C. }

They wear battle gear.

They work as a unit.

Alert. Ready.

In the haze of setting sun they keep moving forward.

 

This Monument haunts.

The layers of bravery.

The purpose with which they walk.

All that stood to be gained and at the same time lost.

 

This monument is about proximity.

About placing yourself in the proximity of renewal.

 

This image needs to be God’s people. Moving.

Moving to make a difference.

Moving to kneel. To Love. To Give.

Moving into spaces no one else wants to go.

 

Let’s pray together that we can move away from ourselves

into that space of sacrificial leaning.

A leaning that makes a difference in the lives of others.